8 May 2004 | david-697
Not a typical `Carry On'.
Usually classed as an unofficial `Carry On' (it's by the same production team and features `Carry On-ers' Kenneth Williams and Joan Sims), 'Twice Around The Daffodils' has a far more serious tone and is as likely to bring a lump to your throat, as it is to raise a smile.
Set in a TB clinic (the year that it was made 5,000 people died of that disease), it follows a group of male patients who are confined indefinitely. The title describes what each patient must do - walk twice around the daffodils, in order to be pronounced fit and well enough to leave.
There is a strong emphasis on sentiment and pathos (Donald Houston's 'macho' Welsh minor fears that he will be unable to support his family, Ronald Owen's long-term girlfriend jilts him and the spectre of death is ever-present. Even Kenneth Williams and Joan Sims brother and sister relationship is tinged with sadness. (Her admission at the end that she has been lonely the past year without him moved me greatly).
However the pathos is balanced with comedy. Kenneth Williams is firmly in the 'snooty snob' persona established in the Hudis `Carry Ons'. Lance Percival's West Country lad makes a good foil for Williams' pretensions. Donald Sinden more or less reprises his 'Benskin' role from the `Doctor' movies, as a skirt-chasing RAF officer.
That said, anyone expecting a laugh a minute comedy will be disappointed as it is more a comedy-drama, very different in tone than the more familiar Peter Rogers productions. However, if you were a fan of the actors involved, I'd recommend this movie to you.